FOI Request Review of Right To Buy

Request 101001648034

Original Request and Response http://www.moray.gov.uk/moray_standard/page_115384.html



Review Request:
In response to my FOI, you have stated that your council ‘does not hold’ the total number of Council Houses sold between the Scheme’s inception and the present. I would appreciate if you could review this decision. I am happy for you to provide an estimate for the total number sold as well as the total number now owned by private landlords. This should mean that irrespective of the records available to you, it would be possible for your department to give me a figure. In response to this request many other councils have provided a figure which is either a total or an estimated total, I, therefore, hope that you will be able to do so also.

In response to my second request – ‘An estimate of how many of these homes are now owned by private landlords’ –  I would appreciate if your decision to respond with s.17 of the FOIA could be reconsidered.

You stated that you cannot provide information on the number of ‘Right to Buy’ purchases which are now owned by private landlords. As previously stated, I am merely interested in an estimate for this number. As I have asked for an estimate, it is not necessary for your Council to give me the exact total and therefore not necessary for the Council to hold all the data necessary to do so. I would expect that, even if you do not hold information pertaining to the exact total, I would think you could use any information your Council does hold combined with the wider data available on this subject – (e.g. This Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2016/feb/10/right-to-buy-ex-council-homes-rental) – to provide an estimate.

Response 15-11-2017

Following your request for a review of our response to the FOI you submitted, 101001609282, a review meeting was held at the council offices on 14th November 2017. In attendance were the Records and Heritage Manager, Senior Solicitor, Housing Strategy Officer, Principle Solicitor and the Information Coordinator.

The first part of your review request states that the council stated that we did not hold this information. In fact, some information was provided; from 1998-present and, upon review, it was discovered that the officer who handled this information request was doing so in the absence of the Housing Strategy Officer.

Had the Housing Strategy Officer been present they would have been able to provide this information in full, as, although it was not held in the current recording system, it was available on a backup disk and it is now provided it in its entirety below:

 

Year

RTB Sales

1980/1

93

1981/2

240

1982/3

175

1983/4

309

1984/5

296

1985/6

316

1986/7

318

1987/8

302

1988/9

380

1989/90

420

1990/1

296

1991/2

246

1992/3

279

1993/4

354

1994/5

421

1995/6

294

1996/7

198

1997/8

252

1998/9

129

1999/00

164

2000/1

158

2001/2

172

2002/3

218

2003/4

181

2004/5

194

2005/6

196

2006/7

125

2007/8

128

2008/9

69

2009/10

38

2010/11

35

2011/12

21

2012/13

14

2013/14

33

2014/15

32

2015/16

26

2016/17

62

2017/18

10

 

The second part of your request, for us to reconsider our application of the Section 17 exemption of FOI(S)A to your second question, was discussed at length.

It was agreed that a ‘guess’ or ‘estimate’ did not fall under the scope of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 as there is no recorded information to provide.

We do not hold the information requested in any format and do not hold sufficient alternative information to either calculate, or estimate, an answer to your request.

We have no way of knowing, within our current records, which properties sold under the Right to Buy scheme are now owned by private landlords. The properties become private properties upon sale; we do not track the properties in this way.  

Our original decision to apply the Section 17 exemption, therefore, still stands as we do not hold the information requested.

Should you require any alternative information please let us know and we will be very glad to look into your request.

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